Actian Blog / What is Data Warehouse-as-a-Service?

What is Data Warehouse-as-a-Service?

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Data Warehouse-as-a-Service (DWaaS) is a modern solution to address the data management challenges of today’s companies. Data is critical to how modern companies operate, from providing actionable analytics and insights to fueling digitally transformed business processes.

Companies generate tremendous amounts of data each day, but to translate this resource into value, a company needs a place to aggregate, store, organize and analyze the data – that is a data warehouse. As one might imagine, data warehouses can be quite large and costly to build and maintain. Data Warehouse-as-a-Service addresses this challenge by providing the full-featured capabilities companies need, without much of the administrative overhead.

Anatomy of Data Warehouse-as-a-Service

The core components of a cloud-based data warehouse are similar to their on-premises cousins, they are just delivered as a service over the Internet or a private network.

  • Integrations with source systems – Your data doesn’t originate in the warehouse; it comes from all of the IT systems your company operates. Your data warehouse includes a set of connections and data feeds with source systems that enable a company to pull (or push) data into the warehouse.
  • Warehouse database(s) – Once data is added to the warehouse, it must be stored for further processing. The warehouse database is where the data is recorded. Most companies use multiple databases to store data at various levels of refinement, from raw source data to highly curated analytics and reports.
  • Administration services – Company data is an asset that must be managed to ensure the maximum value is generated from it. The data warehouse includes a set of tools that enables a company to manage both the technical configuration of the warehouse system and the data inside it.
  • Analytics capabilities – Value from your company data isn’t realized until the data is used in your operations. One of the most important parts of the data warehouse is the set of analytics capabilities that it provides – this includes both traditional business intelligence and reporting solutions as well as modern technology, such as AI and Machine Learning

All data warehouses have these components. Cloud data warehouses and data warehouse-as-a-service are different, because of how these capabilities are provided. Companies are increasingly demanding IT services and capabilities leverage scalable cloud-service infrastructure and managed by a service provider instead of an owned system that a company’s IT department builds and maintains.

Benefits of Data Warehouse-as-a-Service

This deployment model leads to accelerated time-to-value, lower management costs and better performance. Having a data warehouse that is not just hosted in the cloud, but also is optimized to run in the cloud (and take advantage of the myriad of cloud computing capabilities) will give companies improvements in:

  1. Cost – A cost model that aligns with the needs of modern businesses. Avoid upfront hardware costs, underutilized capacity and maintenance overhead. Pay for the services and capacity you need, when you need to use it. Data Warehouse-as-a-Service enables you to leverage economies of scale from service providers with refined processes to manage large data centers and provide services to multiple companies.
  2. Performance – Leverage modern infrastructure platforms that are continuously upgraded to provide enhanced performance. Accelerating the time required to transform raw data into actionable insights directly contributes to business agility and the performance of your operational processes. Distribute workloads across locations and clusters to accelerate the processing performance of complex queries.
  3. Scalability – Expand your storage footprint as you acquire more data. Cloud services offer a seemingly infinite capacity, so you don’t have to worry about limited storage space. Add more compute resources to process complex analytics and enable faster decision making.
  4. Elasticity – Your data consumption needs aren’t constant, they change based on your business cycles and the structure of your operations. Scale your warehouse processing engine up when you need it (for example, month-end financial close) and scale it down during slow periods and avoid the costs of underutilized capacity.
  5. Time-to-value – Your data warehouse can be provisioned within minutes and in production as soon as your data is loaded. Compared to the acquisition and setup time for on-premises infrastructure, Data Warehouse-as-a-Service enables you to realize value almost immediately instead of waiting weeks or months to implement an on-premises data warehouse.

Data Warehouse-as-a-Service – the Easy Choice

Investing in a data warehouse solution is a big deal for any company. Data is a critical company asset that you not only must manage, but also translate into actionable insights that add value to your operations. DWaaS provides you with the capabilities to be successful in a quick-to-deploy, easy-to-use and affordable-to-maintain package. It has all the features your company requires: the performance benefits of a cloud service and scalability to stretch and shrink as your business needs change. Because you have this flexibility, your growth-projections do not have to be initially accurate.

You can start small and start growing – expanding your data warehouse as your company data increases. For companies looking to implement a new data warehouse, or modernize an existing data warehouse solution, Data Warehouse-as-a-Service is an easy choice.

Actian Avalanche is the next generation of cloud data warehouse solutions. This Data Warehouse-as-a-Service offering integrates the robust capabilities of Actian’s on-premises solutions, including DataConnect and Vector, into a cloud deployment model designed to address the needs of modern companies. Avalanche is designed to work with the latest business intelligence, advance analytics, machine learning and AI capabilities to provide your company with the rich business insights you need to compete in today’s marketplace. To learn more, download the whitepaper here or visit

About Pradeep Bhanot

Product Marketing professional, author, father and photographer. Born in Kenya. Lived in England through disco, punk and new romance eras. Moved to California just in time for grunge. Worked with Oracle databases at Oracle Corporation for 13 years. Database Administration for mainframe IBM DB2 and its predecessor SQL/DS at British Telecom and Watson Wyatt. Worked with IBM VSAM at CA Technologies and Serena Software. Microsoft SQL Server powered solutions from 1E and BDNA.

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